Climate Change: Fact or Fiction?
Central Carolina Technical College
December 1 2013
Climate Change is a term often used in place of the term “Global Warming”. This is the first place the general population errs. Climate change refers to a change in the earth’s natural state; it includes global warming, but also includes, global cooling, the changes in precipitation, changes in the atmosphere, land masses and oceans and also changes in storm frequency and intensity. Climate change should be classified into two different subgroups natural and anthropogenic. Natural climate change is the change in climate through no influence of mankind, anthropogenic climate change refers to the changes in climate by the influence of man. The basis of the Climate change phenomenon is generally attributed to the “Greenhouse Effect”. The Greenhouse Effect blames increased C02 and other emissions in the atmosphere that trap the solar radiation and reflect it back to the surface instead of letting it escape from the atmosphere. While most experts agree there is a rise in CO2 emissions, some experts believe these rises have no effect on the climate. Policy makers are using their influence to change the results of valid science.
Keywords: climate change, C02 emissions, warming, greenhouse effect, fossil fuels
The connection between solar events and weather has been speculated upon for many years. Scientists have discovered that solar storms work on an 11 year cycle. They worked diligently to interlink the effects that solar flares and sunspots have on the magnetic fields of the earth and its climate. Cosmoclimatology is a new theory explained by Henrik Svensmark in 1995 of the Danish National Space Center. Low-level cloud cover has a direct effect on the climate; more clouds equate to less solar radiation reaching the earth and more reflected back to the earth from the surface. Svensmark claims that from 1983 to 2005, the average amount of low-level cloud cover follows the change of cosmic rays very closely. In fact, Svensmark claims that the correlation coefficient is 0.92. L.P. Vardiman states, “He has discovered a complete chain of events that explains the variations in global temperature that have puzzled climatologists for so many years, and that has now led to an explanation for the recent global warming episode” (Vardiman, 2008). Here we have science leaning toward a natural occurrence.
Natural global warming and cooling, is considered to be initiated by Milankovitch cycles. There are three cycles in the Milankovitch spectrum. The first is the Eccentricity Cycle; this cycle occurs every 100,000 years and describes the gravitational influence of the sun, moon and other planets on the orbit of the earth around the sun. Basically, the earth’s orbit is not circular, but elliptical, and this changes with time. The closer to the sun, the more solar energy we are exposed to, and more solar energy equals a warmer climate. The next cycle is The Axial Tilt, this tilt; typically around 23 1/2 degrees can vary between 22 and 24 1/2 degrees. This means it can change up to 2.5 degrees over a period of 41,000 years. When our orbit is elliptical and our northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, we experience an increased warm period. Next is precession. This cycle occurs every 26,000 years. This gyroscopic wobble of the earth’s axis is driven by the tides that are influenced by our sun and moon. The earth is not perfectly round so the gravitational pull tugs at the axis over time creating the wobble cycle. As we acquire a less elliptical orbit, the combined effects of the tilt and wobble work together to obtain a warmer climate. This is a very interesting phenomenon, but it still leaves some questions unanswered. Most researchers agree that we are in an interglacial cooling cycle. The reasons we are not cooling varies; some speculate it is because we are in a so called “boundary” cycle, the time